Fernhill Adventure shows his class with 5th at Belton

Belton CIC*** is always a hotly contested class and this year was no exception. It was our first Olympic Trial and with 125 of the World's best combinations it was always going to be an important marker in the lead up to Rio.

I could not have been happier with Fernhill Adventure. I have always believed he is a world beater and a medal prospect, but it was nice to have it confirmed with a faultless performance showing his true class against the best in the world. He finished in 5th place, although was in 2nd after dressage and show-jumping on a personal best score of 36! As the cross-country was run in reverse order and the heavy rain had let conditions deteriorate, I didn't go mad on him to retain 2nd but had 6time faults - still a very quick time - and was more focussed on the bigger picture. This was also due to the fact that speed king Chris Burton was ahead of me so I knew the win was unlikely if I had gone inside the time. He gave me an incredible feel and was fast, adjustable and felt very fit. I just struggled to find fresh ground on the middle third of the course and was a little sensible with him there. He is without doubt the most talented horse I have ridden and I feel so lucky to be riding him. He is 10 years old now, in the prime of his career, and I really hope this will be his year.

Wasting Light also put up a super performance to finish in 19th, only marred by two rails down show-jumping where he got a bit stuck in the tacky ground, although one of them was my fault. He did a super test to score 45, and was the second fastest time of the day cross-country - without really trying. He really is incredibly fast. I was using the run to decide if I thought he was ready for Badminton, and along with his owner Cressida who was there to watch, and regardless of the fact that he went brilliantly - we both felt that at 9 and as the youngest horse entered, it was a year too soon. He will be aimed at Tattersalls CCI*** and then probably Burghley in the Autumn, if not Rio before....

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